In a somewhat surprising move, the Tampa Bay Rays have traded reliever Diego Castillo to the Seattle Mariners. The return from the Mariners is right-handed relief pitcher JT Chargois and minor league infielder Austin Shenton.
Chargois (whose name, according to the Rays press release, is pronounced “SHA-gwah”), is currently 30, and has gone 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA, win 30 IP in 31 appearances, all in relief, for the Mariners this season. He has limited opponents to a .217 average and is especially menacing to lefites, who are only hitting .184 against him so far. He relies primarily on his slider, using it for roughly 69% of his pitches, which is actually right in line with Castillo, who used his about 70% of the time. Chargois averages 95.8 mph on his sinkers, reaching as high as 97.6 mph.
Infielder Austin Shenton, who is 23, is batting .300/.414/.566, with 29 doubles, 12 home runs, and 61 RBI between High-A Everett and Double-A Arkansas. Between the two minor league levels this season, Shenton has played primarily at third base, but has also seen some play time at second, first, and even as a DH owing to his reliable bat. He is currently ranked by MLB.com as the No. 17 prospect in the Mariners organization. In two minor league seasons, he has a slash of .299/.399/.542 with 19 home runs and 97 RBI in 120 games.
Castillo, who is currently 27, went 2-4 with a 2.72 ERA in 36.1 IP over 37 appearances for the Rays this season, including an active streak of 10 consecutive scoreless outings beginning on June 23. While Castillo has been a dependable flame-throwing reliever for the Rays bullpen, it’s worth noting that the Rays never make moves without reason, and Castillo has been showing a consistent decline in his velocity, something the Rays might see as a long-term issue for him.
Chargois is a big-league ready pick-up, whereas Shenton will be more of a minor league development project, but he’s got a strong bat and infield flexibility, which means he’ll be right at home in the Rays prospect machine.